Music review: The Comet Is Coming

The Comet Is Coming
The Comet Is Coming
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MUSIC

The Comet is Coming ****

ABC, Glasgow

They are hardly the first jazz voyagers to employ sci-fi imagery and invoke the far-out spirit of space jazz titan Sun Ra, but this eclectic London trio marshal so many more influences in their fluid journey into sound that the question is: do they actually have a discomfort zone?

Free jazz outbursts and aqueous prog rock passages were chased by their natural predator, punk rock – in particular, the clipped rhythms and curt brass blast of the post-punk funk bands.

Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is the sonic centre of this universe, orbited by the loose-limbed drumming of Max Hallett and hyper keyboard player Dan Leavers, a man given to playing air theremin and dropping references to 1990s rave culture.

For all its confident wide-ranging scope, this was still a pithy set which left the audience wanting more. Leaver returned to the stage to get lost in a Bob James-style electro jazz odyssey which mutated into something much punkier and more urgent when Hutchings and Hallett rejoined the party, while all the most danceable hooks came from Hutchings, whether the impish figure of Do the Milky Way or the irresistible Afrobeat refrain of Space Carnival.